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Agago district utilizes rocks to harvest water

posted 23 Aug 2019, 00:14 by Sekuma Peter   [ updated 23 Aug 2019, 03:53 ]
Agago district leadership, in partnership with RAIN (a brand of Aidenvironment), a non government organisation under the WASH SDG programme , has embarked on drawing water from rocks in areas where the water table is low. Moris Ocana, the district vice chairperson, said they have tried to drill holes in some communities, but this has been unsuccessful, yet the district continues to suffer from water crises, especially during dry seasons.
Under the rock catchment rain water harvesting initiative in Abilinino village in Lira Kato subcounty, which was completed in July, a tank with a holding capacity of 100,000 litres has been constructed on the rock from which the water will be drawn. The water sources which is expected to serve 6,000 residents, has pipes connected to the tank and a tap point. The collecting point is fenced off to keep animals away.
Abilinino rock catchment in Lira Kato subcounty, Agago district
"This is a trial project, but when establish that it works, more of these will be established at different points," Ocan added.
Stephen Kinyera, the project engineer for Aidenvironment, said there was a dire need for an alternative source of water, to the extent that even patients in Abilinino Health Centre II would sometimes lack water for swallowing drugs. He noted that they plan to extend the water pipes to the health centre and a nearby school.
"We are going to also train the water user committee in how to protect the water source from contamination," he said. Similar facilities will be constructed at Akwang rock in Paimol sub-county and Aryaa rock in Adilang by next year.

Water coverage in Agago
Raymond Olyel, the Agago district water officer, said the partnership with Aidenvironment followed the district 's five year strategic plan which indicated the need for support in the water sector. Olyel said many of the boreholes are located in the previously internally displaced people's camps that are no longer in use yet people returned home, thus creating a big demand for clean water sources.
"As the water department, our allocation started dwindling in 2010 when Agago district was created. We were initially receiving UGX 800m every financial year but it reduced to UGX 300m which is not enough for drilling boreholes," he added.
Water coverage in Agago district stands at 68% against the ministry 's rating that stands at 90% which the water officer disputes, since many boreholes are not in use.

Source: New Vision, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, by Arnest Tumwesige